Cloud is the New Normal (Next-Gen MSP Blog Series #1)


Cloud is the New Normal

Next-Gen MSP Blog Series #1

Cloud computing has been one of the hottest IT areas since Amazon launched the public cloud services, AWS, more than a decade ago.  Since then, it has become one of the key strategies for many companies in both business and technical perspectives.  According to a Gartner report, over 84% of business will be using public cloud in 2020.

That means, most business owners are considering, if not adopting, cloud.  There are many advantages in cloud computing over traditional IT, especially for small- to mid- size companies. Shorter time-to-market, highly scalable, pay-as-you-go payment model, are just a few of them.  Cloud computing enables customers to quickly and flexibly deal with their latest business, IT and security challenges.  In short, business owners are not asking “why cloud”, but “when” and “how”.

Having said that, cloud has constantly been evolving and its related offerings have drastically changed from day-one.  For instance, AWS releases over a thousand new services and features every year.  Cloud has changed the IT ecosystem from different perspective, including technology, people, culture as well as the economic model.  It requires considerable resources and effort for companies to transform and adopt cloud.  For many companies, especially the larger ones, usually go through this process as a multi-year strategic project referred as “cloud journey” or “digital transformation”.

What is a Next-Generation Managed Services Provider (NGMSP) in Cloud Era?

A NGMSP specializes in cloud technologies.  It aims to help customers go through their cloud journeys and to grow with them as a long-term trusted advisor.  There are three key capabilities that differentiate a NGMSP from other conventional managed services providers.

Plan & Design
Companies who are new to cloud technologies usually face various challenges, such as overall planning, security concerns, lack of skills, and cost estimation & justification, etc, before moving any production systems to cloud.  In this beginning stage, a NGMSP guides customers to formulate cloud strategies and plans which balance business and technology requirements.  It also inspires customers with real-world cloud use cases and experiences, and in turn adopt proven principles and best practices when designing the cloud architecture and applications for customers.

Migrate & Build
After the planning stage, a NGMSP provides architecting and implementation services to customers to ensure seamless transition during the migration of existing on-premise business applications and operations to cloud.  Re-architecting is another critical NGMSP capability to transform customers’ legacy applications into cloud native design.

Run & Optimize
When the business applications are migrated to cloud, NGMSP assist customers in daily operations with all-rounded proactive monitoring and process automation, with the objective to improve operation efficiency, application performance, reliability and lower the operating costs.  NGMSP also has the obsession to introduce new cloud technologies and services to customers, so that they can growth together over long-term partnership.

In this series of blog posts, we will further introduce how a Next-Gen MSP help customers in various stages of their cloud journey.  In our next post, we will introduce a framework commonly used in the Planning & Design stage, namely the AWS Well-Architected Framework.

About the Author

Elton Tsang
Associate Director

Posted in Blog, ICG Blog.